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Slow Cooker/Crock Pot: Recipes and Techniques


Wilfrid
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a friend with an excellent and worldly palate mentioned a few months ago that she'd just had "one of the best things she'd ever eaten in her life" at a dinner party - and it was (she lowered her voice to a whisper here) "a crock pot recipe!!!!"

not only that, it was a CHILI recipe.

deeply curious, i finally made it. it is a triple-pork home run: ground pork, boneless pork shoulder and a smoked ham hock.

it is extremely good - i am not sure it's one of the best things i've ever eaten, but it's a gold-star recipe that i immediately saved to my archive, served at multiple dinner parties, and cooked for my brother as his Christmas present.

may i present Smoky Slow Cooker Chili, as published by (sotto voce) Cooking Light magazine.

Smoky Slow Cooker Chili

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I used to cook a lot of pot roasts and pork roasts in my slow cooker, but I've come to believe that they just taste better in the oven. What I DO use my slow cooker for is lots and lots of soups and stews. My red beans (for red beans and rice), white bean and sausage soup, black bean soup, Caribbean Sunday beans, anything that calls for a dried legume, generally get cooked in the crockpot, albeit that means a little advance planning. I put beans on to soak the night before, and saute all my aromatics and meat and put them in the fridge. Next morning, I put the beans in the crockpot, add the aromatics, add any liquids, tomatos, other seasonings, etc., and leave for work. When I get home, it's bread and a salad prep, and dinner's ready, not to mention lunch for the next day.

Oh, and I do posole in the crock pot, too, adding the canned hominy after I get home.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I've only recently begun to use a crockpot and I adore it. But my recipe collection is miniscule and in definite need of expansion

So for all you who have lived to love your crockpot/slow cooker (and even if you don't) would you care to share what's been in your crockpot that has made you smile with delight.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I am not ashamed to admit that cream soups have been known to fall into my crockpot on occasion.

Thanks to all who respond.

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I would like some crockpot recipes.

I have three and they are used for candying everything I candy, and for large potluck kinds of meals and they keep everything warm. And for Chinese feasts where they hold the Hot and Sour soup.

Never cooked a single recipe in one yet.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I've cooked a lot of crockpot recipes, mostly when I was working, had a very long commute (70 miles each way) and was not partial to having to fix a meal when I arrived home, fatigued from the drive.

I still use them but not as much as I used to but they are terrific during the summer when I don't want to use the oven so much and heat up the kitchen.

I use several cookbooks - the "Not Your Mother's" cookbooks.

I also refer to a couple of web sites, most notably, http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

and http://www.my-crockpot-recipes.com/Crockpot-Cheese-Recipes.htm

Although there are a lot of crockpot recipes on the second site, I have been working my through the cheese recipes. I'm trying to use up the large amount of cheeses I received as holiday presents.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I experimented with slow-cooking a frozen roast last week. Other than the fact that I was too chicken to use the low setting and left it on high for too long so that it was a bit overdone to my taste, it worked a treat. I'm going to do it again this weekend - on low. So convenient, to just be able to take it out of the freezer, sear the outside and plunk it in there with some seasonings!

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There are a few on my blog - markiscooking.com

My favorite is the Sweet and Sour Cabbage Borscht, but there's a couple of Chili Colorado recipes, a lamb with mushroom dish, and a beef sukiyaki dish.

I also use it to make beef stew and corned beef with cabbage. For the latter, I rinse all the goo off the corned beef, trim the fat off and then soak it it cool water in the fridge overnight (in the slow cooker pot). This gets rid of a lot of the saltiness. In the morning I pour off the water and add fresh water to just cover the beef. I also add carrots and the spice packet that comes with the beef (put the spice in around the edges of the beef before adding the water). Cook on low to medium for 8-10 hours. 1 hour before serving, add the cabbage to the pot.

Let me know if you want the stew recipe.

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My T shirt site: Guy Bling

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

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Legalsec, here's my red beans and rice, a family favorite:

Soak a pound of small red beans overnight; drain, rinse, and put them in the crockpot, adding enough water just to come to the top of the beans. Saute a pound of andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick, along with a medium diced onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, a cup of diced ham (or the meat pulled from a couple of boiled hamhocks)until the onion is soft and the meat browned a little, and add that to the pot. Add a 15-oz can of diced tomatos, a 10-oz can of diced tomatos and green chiles, a couple of tablespoons of smoked paprika, a teaspoon of Lawry's seasoned salt, cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste, and a couple of bay leaves. Stir it up a bit to combine the ingredients, and cook it on low all day. When you get home, kick it up to high and add two teaspoons of gumbo file powder, a half-pound of raw popcorn shrimp (if you want), and let it cook while you cook the rice, bake some cornbread, and sit down and relax with a cold beer. By the time the cornbread and rice are done, it's ready.

Another favorite is white bean and sausage soup -- a pound of navy beans, soaked overnight; smoked sausage, cut in slices and browned; onions, garlic and carrots, diced and sauteed until the onion is soft; a 15-oz. can of diced tomatos; a teaspoon of dried basil, a teaspoon of dried oregano. Cook on low all day. It may want a little more salt when you get home, depending on how salty the smoked sausage is.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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For those looking for recipes, here's a website as a good place to start: Slow and simple. It is quite a few interesting ideas and will definitely be a starting place to create your own!

Edited by MSRadell (log)

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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  • 9 months later...

These were very popular in the 1970s. I've actually inherited three of them in my day, and though I've made a good faith effort to use them I've always wound up throwing them away. Basically, they are electric braising devices. They braise and braise and braise all day long. This has the effect of giving you extremely tender slow-cooked stuff. But most of it to me tastes overcooked (it is possible to overcook even when braising). You can of course test periodically for doneness, and you can add different ingredients at different times, but then you lose the benefit of set-and-forget cooking.

This is pretty much my perception of crockpot cookery. Or crackpot crockery, which is even harder to say. However, in cleaning out my kitchen this weekend I discovered that I owned one. It is so endearingly 70's I'm going to see if there is any reason to hang on to it. I don't even remember when or why we acquired it, but it has that nostalgic beige/orange/brown color scheme, and the simplest of controls: off, high and low. The only indication of maker is "Rival."

Forgive me if I am repeating much or any of this thread; I don't have the heart to read 12 pages. I stopped reading after the above on the first page.

What should I do with this sucker? Most all of the stews or braises or beans I eat are happily made in one or another cast iron enamel job. Most entail rendering or searing or browning of meat, onion, garlic, whatever, and so I can just use one pot for everything and lose no flavor. I'm not looking for a major change in lifestyle; I love my pots and I love my Viking stove. I'm just trying to figure out if there is a good reason to experiment with the crock-pot or if I should just give it away to my daughter or my nephew, if either of them wants it.

One thing I do remember from my years in New Mexico in the 60's and 70's is that most everyone who made posole (including people who grew up there) used a crockpot. The red chile sauce was made separately and added at some point, and the pork was also added at some point, although I don't know if it was seared first. It made sense, since posole can take hours to become popped and tender. The way I make posole now, I could see using the crockpot for the first few hours of cooking if it saved substantially on energy. Now I just cook it in two stages on the stove.

What about duck confit? I've never made it, but I'm curious. Since the crisping of the skin takes place in the half hour before serving and the initial slow-cooking is basically just a poaching in fat, would this crockpot be useful? How slowly should the duck be cooked in the fat? Should you see bubbles? If anyone out there uses a crockpot for duck confit I would be interested to hear your technique. Thanks!

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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Katie, do try looking at A Year of SlowCooking

here

Scroll down nearly to the bottom of the page and check out the Best Brussels Sprouts ever.

I made the recipe and they are wonderful. I do like the little cabbages, but these are better than any I have prepared in the past and I have been handling them for many years.

Edited by heidih
Fix link (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 6 months later...

I keep forgetting my days in Austin and how omnipresent queso is. Even at steak houses!

- One good (Texan and vegetarian) friend loves his queso so much, we refer to him as the queso-vegetarian.

Back to slow cookers/crock pots... I don't use mine so much for meals as I do for ingredients or parts of recipes: beans, yes huge batches of caramelized onions, the first steps to my carnitas, etc. A recipe at which it excels is in the making of fruit butters - low, low temperature and no burning.

-Nancy.

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Its funny this thread popped up today, as I'm making mashed potatoes in the crockpot. So long as I have the time, its my favorite way to do them -- foolproof and delicious, not to mention allowing me to keep them warm so it doesn't require perfect timing with the rest of the meal.

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Just read back over the final two pages of this thread, and wondered -- Katie, did you ever try duck confit in the crock pot? I have just learned to confit duck and I'm thrilled with this new trick....but being that it was 97 today, I'd much prefer to do my next batch in the crock pot as opposed to the oven! And being that my local gourmet store had HVFG duck leg quarters on sale for half price, and being that I bought a dozen of them.....well, you know.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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  • 1 year later...

I couldn't find a single topic devoted to crock pot cooking, so I figured I'd start one.

I inherited mine when my best friend moved accross the country. It sat unused for a year or so, when I finally decided to try it on one of the hunks of meat lurking in my freezer. I cut some onions into thick rings, set a 4 lb chuck roast on top, covered it all with a jar of Herdez salsa verde, and walked away. The end result was some pretty great shredded beef, which we used for tacos, quesadillas, and salads.

Since then, I've tried other recipes, all of which are variations of meat + seasonings - carnitas, coconut pork, and most recently, a dead easy version of kalua pork. They've all been delicious, really much better than the minimal effort would have led me to beleive (I'll share the recipes if anyone is interested). I'd love to branch out beyond just hunks of beef and pork (and I'm hoping it's not just all the pork fat that makes these recipes magical). I like these recipes because they're so easy, and produce a ton of good food that reheats great, without any compromise in ingredients or flavor.

What else do you guys make in your crockpots?

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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Tonight I will put appox 10 lbs of corned beef on a rack with 2 bottles of Guinness in the bottom. I use a turkey roaster in place of a traditional crock pot. Cooks at 235 degrees F for 7-8 hours. It will be part of a Renaissance Faire feast-style lunch tomorrow for my fellow guild members.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I floored my parents a few years ago when I was dogsitting for them. The morning of the day they got home, I unearthed the crock pot from deep in the garage and put a thawed mass-market turkey breast (not so easy to find in early fall!) on top of some halved onions, peeled carrots, celery stalks that I'd snapped in half, a few whole peppercorns, probably a bay leaf or two, and a small splash of water to get it all started. I turned it on, and the dog and I drove the 2 hours to the airport to pick them up. They wanted to go shopping for a few things they can't get in their small town as long as they were out, so it was another couple of hours before we even started to drive home. But when we did get back, finally, they were most impressed by the way the house smelled. The turkey generates lots of juice, which is easy to thicken up for gravy. All I had to do was boil some potatoes and make a salad, and dinner was ready.

The downside of crockpot turkey breast is that the skin is flabby and pretty much inedible. Lucky for me, my parents won't admit to being skin-eaters.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Never thought of making apple butter in a crock-pot. Great idea, Tri2Cook. Alas, we had no apples this year after last year's bumper crop.

We did have wild grapes up the wazoo. I could pick some more... :hmmm:

I've never done it that way either. I needed apple butter for the dish I came up with for the latest installment of TGRWT from khymos.org and that seemed like the best solution for getting it done during the work-week so I could be in before the deadline. It worked great.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Great timing! Ms. Alex is, at this very moment, making a lentils + spinach recipe out of The Indian Slow Cooker.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Never thought of making apple butter in a crock-pot. Great idea, Tri2Cook. Alas, we had no apples this year after last year's bumper crop.

We did have wild grapes up the wazoo. I could pick some more... :hmmm:

I've never done it that way either. I needed apple butter for the dish I came up with for the latest installment of TGRWT from khymos.org and that seemed like the best solution for getting it done during the work-week so I could be in before the deadline. It worked great.

Never a day without learning. Looked up Khymos.org and TGRWT. Not my thing, but interesting. I'm still learning how to boil water I fear.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I love my crockpot(s)! Alex, your post has reminded me that I want to find a good source of Indian Crockpot recipes. Every time we get food of that genre I always leave with the intention of finding some good recipes so I can make it at home.

I think that I have just found my answer to dividend's question. This Fall, I hope to be cooking some yummy Indian food in my crockpot!

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